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City Hall renovation considered by panel

December 16, 2010

By KELLY DANIELS
citybeat@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Mayor’s Office and other city departments in City Hall may not need to move anywhere, members of the Municipal Complex Committee are considering.
Local architect Gary Shafer presented the idea to other members Wednesday, according to minutes of the meeting which state that City Hall is “solid and concrete” and that “when renovated it would meet all required codes.”
The building was originally built in 1939 for the National Guard Armory, which donated it to the municipal government in 1968. Along with the Mayor’s Office and Municipal Court, the facility houses the Building, Codes and Planning Department, the Police Department, the Public Services Department, the City Engineer’s Office and the City Clerk’s Office, with some employees sharing cramped rooms that once served as closets and storage.
Mayor Parker Wiseman reported that a plausible scenario for housing city operations would be renovating the current City Hall to house city staff offices and the court system, while building a separate facility or renovating property for a police station.
“That’s an option favored by the committee,” Wiseman said, referring to the renovation of City Hall.
“There’s a good chance it will be favored by their recommendations.”
But members have yet to formulate a formal recommendation. “This is all very preliminary,” Wiseman said.
The committee also discussed a myriad of potential sites for a police station or city staff offices, Wiseman added, declining to disclose their details.
Two weeks ago the mayor said he would research the acquirability of potential sites for the committee’s next meeting.
Committee members stated that after renovation, City Hall would “be like a brand new facility” and that it would be “easier to sell the idea to citizens, making use of what the city already knows,” according to their minutes.
The committee will meet again on Jan. 5, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership offices on Main Street.
Wiseman lauded discussions among members as productive and helpful.
“I think the committee is progressing well,” he said.

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